Tarot, like yoga, is more than a practice: it’s a way of life.
You don’t have to stop yourself at reading tarot cards for the day or week ahead. You can integrate tarot and its ideas into every aspect of your life, creating a sacred self-care ritual that no one can take from you.
Whether you’re a seasoned tarot reader or new to the craft, using tarot cards (while a little too woo-woo for some) can be a mindful self-care practice that enlightens you and enriches your life.
Here’s how to use tarot cards for self-care, based on my research in the book Tarot for Self-Care by Minerva Siegel.
Creating Sacred Space for Yourself
The difference between doing a tarot reading and doing a tarot reading for self-care lies in the details — including how you prepare your space. In her book, Siegel recommends marking the beginning and end of your tarot reading by lighting and blowing out a candle respectively. You can also cleanse your space with clary sage and/or play calming music or sounds (like crystal singing bowls) to create a calming environment conducive to self-care.
What Siegel calls a “spiritually charged bath” may also help you take sacred time and space for yourself away from the rest of the world. Mark the start of this ritual by lighting a white candle (white is a cleansing color signifying purity). Play your preferred music or sounds — I recommend making a killer Spotify playlist beforehand! — and add your favorite bath mix-ins, like a Lush bath bomb or essential oils.
While in the bath, choose a positive affirmation (or a few) and focus on it until it begins the feel true. The positive energy will begin to renew and recharge your spirit, just as the bath water renews and recharges your body!
Taking Lessons from the Tarot
Siegel also writes that the tarot cards themselves have much to teach us about life. After all, tarot represents The Fool’s journey through life — and the lessons he learns along the way. You can choose self-care activities to correspond with the Major and Minor Arcana and the meaning of the cards you’ve drawn. For example….
If you draw The Empress: The Empress is a symbol of nurturing, abundance and nature. Try planting an organic garden on your windowsill. The act of tending to plants may serve as a beneficial way for you to focus inward during your self-care practice.
If you draw The Hermit: The Hermit indicates soul-searching and time alone may be in your future. He reminds us that turning inward is a sacred practice of self-care. If you see The Hermit in your future, you may need to cancel your plans and take time to be alone instead. Try writing in a journal to hone in on your innermost thoughts and feelings during this period of self-reflection.
If you draw The Devil: The Devil warns us against the dangers of temptation and overindulgence — so what better time to practice mindful eating than when you’ve drawn The Devil? Follow along to a chocolate meditation to practice slowly savoring a delicious treat with intention.
Starting your day by drawing a card from the Major or Minor Arcana may help you decide what self-care practices to focus on. You can also use the classic week ahead spread (depicted below) and fill your planner with corresponding self-care activities for the week ahead.